Japanese authorities will soon begin discussing funeral arrangements for former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who was assassinated in a broad daylight shooting on Friday, sending a nation unaccustomed to gun violence into a state of shock and anger .

On Saturday, the morning after the fatal shooting on a street in Nara, central Japan, a car carrying the body of the former world leader left Nara Medical University Hospital, where Abe had been treated, according to the channel. Japanese public NHK.

His widow, Akie Abe, is traveling with her husband’s body to Tokyo, where the family resides, before discussing funeral arrangements, Abe’s office told CNN.

Following the murder, tearful mourners gathered to lay flowers and kneel at a makeshift memorial outside Yamato-Saidaiji Station in Nara, near where Abe was been assassinated.

The fact that a former prime minister could be shot at close range while delivering a speech in broad daylight in a country with one of the lowest gun crime rates in the world has reverberated in Japan And in the world. Presidents, prime ministers and other international leaders have sent tributes expressing their outrage and sadness at the killing.

Abe, 67, was pronounced dead at 5:03 p.m. local time on Friday, just over five hours after he was shot while delivering a campaign speech to a small crowd in a street.

At the time of the shooting, Abe was speaking in favor of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) candidates ahead of Sunday’s Upper House elections, which are still due to take place. Although he resigned as Prime Minister of Japan in 2020 for health reasons, Abe remained an influential figure in the country’s political landscape and continued to campaign for the LDP.

Japan’s “JFK moment”: Abe was Japan’s longest-serving prime minister who defined the country’s politics for a generation.

He will be remembered for increasing defense spending, pushing through the most dramatic change in Japanese military policy in 70 years, and his vast experience designed to pull the Japanese economy out of decades of stagnation, known as the of “Abenomics”.

Abe’s former special adviser Tomohiko Taniguchi said the former prime minister was “one of Japan’s most transformative leaders” and described his murder as the equivalent of the assassination of US President John F. Kennedy.

“I think it will be the equivalent of the day JFK was assassinated… It was a day of sadness, grief, disbelief and, for me, tremendous anger. People are hurting a lot to digest reality,” Taniguchi said on Friday.

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